‘The Vampire Diaries’ Season 8: Don’t Go Away Mad (At the Big Bad)

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As we hit roughly the mid-way point of the final season of “The Vampire Diaries,” with only nine episodes left to go, I thought we’d take a look at the fanbase reaction to the season thus far, particularly in regards to the “final” (maybe) Big Bad- or rather, “Big Bads”- of the moment. To say the least, the feedback has been a little on the mixed side, as we shall see.

“I am SO over the siren thing,” said one poster, a mere two episodes into the new-ish plotline. Granted, the show set the wheels for all of this into motion last season, but we didn’t really know that it was sirens we were dealing with until relatively recently. Sybil, in particular, got a lot of hate with many a fan heading to the message boards and elsewhere to vent their frustrations about the new villain. (I even read one about how someone hated her “nails” and thought they looked “stubby,” with another chiming in that her hair was “too 90’s.”)

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Although, in typical internet fashion, most everyone allowed actress Nathalie Kelley was easy on the eyes- albeit in less tasteful terms, to say the least. This is still the internet we’re talking about, after all. “Hot as hell, though,” said one, “Would bang. 10/10.” Ah, internet. Who says your priorities aren’t still in check? On the bright side, at least I’m not the only straight guy still watching “The Vampire Diaries,” lol.

The reveal of Seline (Kristen Gutoskie) as her siren-sister-in-arms warranted little-to-no-response whatsoever, though. I guess people either weren’t surprised, or simply couldn’t be bothered to address the twist at all. Or her respective hotness, either, which is actually surprising, given how judge-y the internet can be. I guess Caroline’s assessment on her as the “hot nanny” will have to suffice there.

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Personally, as those who read my weekly reviews know, I went back and forth on my feelings about who was worse, whether as a character or as a baddie in general. On the one hand, Seline took advantage of some kids, and was plotting to turn them over to a Devil-like figure, albeit later on, once they were older. But on the other, Sybil made Damon and Enzo into her kill slaves and replaced their respective memories of their loved ones with herself, which is pretty insidious, too.

Ultimately, I think people were most antagonistic towards Sybil, not in the least because she sold not only the Salvatore brothers down the river to save her own butt, but her own sister- though not without good reason, at least to a certain extent. Yes, Seline got her into the whole Cade mess in the first place, but as she herself admitted, it was ultimately her choice to do so in the end- she still could have said no to him.

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On the other hand, Cade (Wolé Parks) himself got some mixed reactions, in particular from the SJW set. “Why the Devil have to be a black man?” sniped one poster. However, most pointed out that, in fact, that Cade was only a sort of earthly devil, not Lucifer himself, or, at the very least, a sort of “supernatural world” demon.

As stated in the show, he only holds dominion over his own particular world, which is certainly Hell-like, but not precisely Hell itself, per se. Really, it’s more like a Purgatory for the wicked that keeps them out of Heaven. (As to the color of his skin… what, a black man can’t play a demon? Choose your battles wisely, internet.)

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I suspect that, at some point, Katherine will return- Nina Dobrev has already been confirmed to be coming back to the show at some point before the end- and perhaps join forces with Georgie (Allison Scagliotti) to get themselves out of said Purgatory, possibly taking others with them, like maybe Tyler (Michael Trevino), who most people weren’t too happy about being brought back, only to be summarily killed and dismissed on the same episode. (Ditto, to a lesser extent, Sarah Salvatore.)

Once these folks return, then they will likely band together with the others in the main cast to bring down Cade, and no doubt help get Damon and Stefan back to being themselves again. Of course, that brings me to the “other” Big Bads of the season, Stefan and Damon themselves. Some people are glad to see the two back to their old-school, no humanity ways, while others feel like it’s old hat. “This again?” grumbled one commentator. “How many times are they going to go back to this well?” (Well, one more time, to be exact, this being the final season and all.)

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Personally, I actually enjoy “Ripper” Stefan more than the “normal” one. I mean, the guy slaughtered an entire village, including kids expecting Santa, on Christmas! How savage is that? “Silent Night, Deadly Night” and “Black Christmas” ain’t got nothing on the Ripper. Not saying I condone all this, mind you, but it does make for more compelling viewing, that’s for sure.

That said, I would have to agree with a lot of fans who point out that, for all of Stefan and everyone else’s grousing about how “evil” Big Bad Damon is, Stefan’s actually done way worse, as far as I can tell. Damon is just more casual about it, even when his humanity is on, that’s all. He doesn’t mind taking people out as a means to an end, consequences be damned. Whereas Stefan, at least when in “Ripper” mode, could care less one way or another.

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As such, I suspect it will actually be Damon that helps to “save” Stefan from himself in the end, rather than the other way around. Lest we forget, even when he flipped his humanity switch, he still was ultimately able to remember Elena and rein in some of his worst tendencies and do the right thing- or right adjacent, at least. Granted, it was only after he’d killed Tyler, but he did stop short of aiding Seline in duping two innocent kids into essentially selling their soul to Cade, so there’s that.

I think a lot of the fan reaction to the final season as a whole will have to do with how they end things, though. They can screw the pooch on everything else leading up to it and fans will forgive and forget, but if they don’t stick that landing in the end… there will be hell to pay, at least on the internet. I’m not sure what I’m looking forward to more, how they end it, or how the internet will react to it. Even if it sucks, the reaction should more than make up for it.

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Be sure to join me next month when the show resumes its final run of episodes in January for more reviews. Also be sure to leave your own comments down below, including how you feel about the states of various ‘ships on the show- check out the previous article I did on that here– and how you’d like to see those resolved as well. Have a happy holidays, and thanks for reading!

  • hallie24

    So far it is going down as the worst season yet the only plus is they won’t bore us with shoving Steoline down our throats